The Racer's Group announced today that two stalwarts from its 2011 Daytona 24 champion GT team, Spencer Pumpelly and Steve Bertheau, will not only return to defend their title but will embark on a full-season effort in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series in 2012. Pumpelly and Bertheau will form the nucleus of the defending championship team that will take to the high banks of Daytona before the duo continues the 13-race schedule. The two will compete in a 2012 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, wearing the No. 67 Sargent & Lundy/TRG banner.
While TRG's complete driver lineups for the Daytona 24 have yet to be announced, team owner Kevin Buckler indicated that he is expecting another armada with which to attack America's 24-hour endurance classic for its historic 50th Anniversary celebration. A year ago, TRG fielded five cars, and Buckler anticipates another similar assault from GT class again for 2012.
"I can't even begin to express how thrilled I am to have a guy like Steve back in the car and back with TRG for 2012. He has been a great driver and a great friend!" team owner Kevin Buckler states. "Watching Steve work so hard on his driving and now be able to come back to tracks for the second time – well this should be good. And to be able to pair him up with a proven sports car veteran like Pumpelly...this is what TRG is all about! The 2012 season is sure to be exciting!"
"Winning Daytona last year was one of the biggest thrills of my life and certainly the highlight of my race career to date," said Bertheau. "To have the chance to defend with Spencer and a team like TRG is a once in a lifetime moment. It's a long race and anything can happen, but I know we will be ready. And I am really looking forward to a full season as well. Who knows what could happen there!"
Last season was another landmark year for The Racer's Group, which yielded 12 professional sports car podiums, including wins at Daytona and Watkins Glen. The trip to Victory Lane at one of the world's most famous endurance races to begin the 2011 season was not unprecedented. TRG has won the prestigious 24-hour American race four times, including once overall from GT class in the now famous Monster Cable Porsche.
"Coming back to Daytona with Steve and all of the TRG guys to defend our 2011 victory is really going to be neat." Pumpelly states. "We made memories last season that we'll never forget. I can't wait to find out what 2012 has in store."
"We have been working diligently and feverishly during the off-season to defend a title that has become very important to us and is the pinnacle of endurance racing in the U.S.," said Buckler. "As further announcements roll out, I think you will see how serious we are about winning this race in this very historic year."
The No. 67 Sargent & Lundy/TRG Porsche 911 GT3 Cup will begin preparation for its defense at the Jan. 6-8 "Roar Before the 24" open test at Daytona.